Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘church music’

The Hymnody of Eastertide

The month of April encompasses four of the Sundays of Eastertide.  The music and hymnody for these services will reflect the glory of the risen Christ.  The Episcopal hymnal includes a wondrous plethora of Easter hymns, 39 to be exact. Some of that Easter hymnody includes:

Hail thee, festival day!  #175
this ancient processional hymn is derived from a sixth-century Latin poem that was handed down through the middle Ages. Though it has been adapted for nearly every feast in the church calendar, modern versions are usually customized for Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost. (www.hymnary.com)

O sons and daughters, let us sing!  #203
Not very many Easter hymns focus on the disciples’ response to the astounding story that their beloved Master, Jesus Christ, was no longer dead but alive. This old hymn from France tells just that story.  (www.hymnary.com)

Good Christians all, rejoice and sing!  #205
not all dreams are equal: the fourteenth century mystic Heinrich Susa claimed that in one of his ecstatic visions, he danced with the angels while they sang this hymn. That’s a bit more exciting than a daydream about getting out of class early.  (www.hymnary.com)

The day of resurrection!  #210
this eighth-century hymn of celebration was traditionally sung at midnight on Easter in the Greek Church.  (www.hymnary.com)

To learn more of the hymns of the church, visit www.hymnary.com.
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Dr. Jeannine Jordan is a church musician and concert organist.  She and her husband David are the creators and performers of three organ and multi-media concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Bach and Sons.

WHAT INSPIRES YOUR WORSHIP?

INSPIRATION: the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative

I draw my inspiration to lead worship from

  • The scriptures read by carefully prepared lectorsBible
  • The insightful homily
  • The prayers of the people
  • The serenity of the meticulously followed liturgy
  • The beauty and orderliness of our sanctuary thanks to our Altar Guild
  • And from You – the congregation — by your
    • quiet reverence during the prelude
    • energetic singing of the hymns
    • enthusiasm for an interesting postlude
    • joyous expression of thanks when a particular hymn or piece of music has inspired you

CrossINSPIRE: To fill with enlivening or exalting emotion

It is my hope that the music chosen, sung, and played for our worship inspires you. Not only in the service but in the week that follows. What inspires your worship? What fills you with an enlivening or exalting emotion?

  • The text of a hymn?St. Bede organ.jpg
  • The melody of a hymn?
  • The singing of a psalm?
  • The offering of music by our choir?
  • The prelude or postlude?

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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Minister of Music and Organist of St. Bede Episcopal Church in Forest Grove, Oregon is also a concert organist performing the organ and multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea.

 

Directions for Singing

As Paul wrote to the Colossians, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

As we consider the message of Paul, let’s also consider John Wesley’s Directions for Singing as we sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs in this New Year. John Wesley, an Anglican cleric and theologian, published in 1737 in Charlestown, South Carolina, one of the first hymnals in the English language prepared for use in public worship. In 1761, in the preface to yet another hymnal, Sacred Melody, John Wesley presented his Directions for Singing. (These may be a little 1761ish in tone, but they’re still apropos today.)

DIRECTIONS FOR SINGING (by John Wesley)

  • Sing lustily and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength …
  • Sing ALL. See that you join with the congregation as frequently as you can …
  • Sing them exactly as they are printed here without altering or mending them at all …
  • “Learn these Tunes before you learn any others ….
  • Sing modestly. Do not bawl, so as to be heard above or distinct from the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony …
  • Sing in Time. Whatever time is sung, be sure to keep with it. Do not run before nor stay behind it … and take care not to sing too slow…
  • Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself or any other creature.”

Dr. Jeannine Jordan is a teacher, church musician, and concert organist. She and her husband are the creators and performers of the organ and multi-media concert experiences, From Sea to Shining Sea and Bach and Sons.

Plan, Prepare, Present

Teaching a lesson yesterday I heard myself say, “You know – Christmas is on a Sunday this year.”  Yikes!  Spoken like a true church musician and teacher – always looking ahead, planning, preparing, and presenting music.  It’s quite the good life, isn’t it?

Yes, it’s that time of year for most people to make resolutions, set goals, challenge oneself.  But, for us organists, it’s that time of the year all year round!  For church musicians especially, those Sabbath days show up every 7 days and depending on your denomination, festival Sundays show up with an almost monthly frequency.  So, what’s a church musician to do?  PLAN, PREPARE, and PRESENT music in an ongoing rolling manner.

If you haven’t already done so, start PLANNING by taking out a calendar and making note of the church dates important to your congregation.  They might be Ash Wednesday (the start of Lent on February 10), Palm Sunday, Holy Week, Easter (this year on March 27), Pentecost, Reformation, Christ the King, Advent (begins on November 27), and yes even Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (this year on a Sunday).

Why do this?  Well, as organists and regular people too, life can get busy and these important church dates can creep up and surprise a person and then more often than not our music is not all it could be to enhance the worship of our congregations.  So, start the PLANNING by mapping out ideas for the solo music you’d like to play, the hymn settings and transitions and transpositions you’d like to include, and the music you may need to accompany.

Ah…you say, “I’m not a church organist but a student of the organ.”  And my reply is…”the idea of PLANNING, PREPARING, and PRESENTING works beautifully for anyone studying the organ.”  PLAN the music you’d like to learn and determine a date for the mastery of the concept or piece.  Will you perform the piece on our Spring Recital on May 7th?  Will you share it with family or friends?  Will you pass a section of the BYU course?  Will you fulfill a personal goal?

For all of us, church organist or student of the organ, the next step is to determine the method of  PREPARING the music.  What will your practice time look like?  How will you spend the minutes you’ve allotted for your organ study?  Will you practice hands and feet alone or in combinations?  Will you work on specific sections

of a piece?  Will you reward yourself by playing a “favorite” piece at the end of your practice session?

And, as always, the goal is to PRESENT your music to your congregation, your family, your friends, or even to record yourself.

So take an afternoon and design a MUSIC PLAN, so then you’ll know what and how much time you’ll need to PREPARE the music you’ve chosen, so you’ll be more than ready to PRESENT your music successfully and joyfully.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan is a teacher, church musician, and concert organist. She and her husband are the creators and performers of the organ and multi-media concert experiences, From Sea to Shining Sea and Bach and Sons.

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